Bulbs (Imports).

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture. – in the House of Commons on 20th March 1934.

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Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

38.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that the increase in the number of bulbs imported from the Netherlands during the two months ended February, 1934, over the two months ended February, 1932, amounts to more than 100 per cent.; and what steps he proposes to take to protect British bulb-growers?

Photo of Mr Walter Elliot Mr Walter Elliot , Glasgow Kelvingrove

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative, though I should not be prepared to draw inferences from the volume of imports during only two months in the year. In reply to the second part I would remind my hon. Friend that the statutory procedure provides for consideration of these matters by the Import Duties Advisory Committee in the first instance.

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

In view of the very difficult state of the trade at the present time, will the right hon. Gentleman, in the interests of agriculture, look into this matter very carefully, and see to it that British industry is more efficiently protected?

Photo of Mr Walter Elliot Mr Walter Elliot , Glasgow Kelvingrove

Representations should be made in the first place to the Import Duties Advisory Committee.

Photo of Mr James de Rothschild Mr James de Rothschild , Isle of Ely

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a great number of the bulbs that come from the Netherlands are diseased and are causing very grave unrest in the minds of horticulturists in this country, and that from the point of view of the well-being of the industry—not only from the point of view of protection—it is important that this matter should be looked into?

Photo of Mr Walter Elliot Mr Walter Elliot , Glasgow Kelvingrove

I am interested by the careful distinction drawn by the hon. Member, and I am not disposed to draw such a distinction, but I shall be most happy to examine from a sanitary point of view any evidence which he can lay before me.

Photo of Sir Louis Smith Sir Louis Smith , Sheffield, Hallam

May I ask my right hon. Friend if he does not agree that the limit to be aimed at should be to grow all the bulbs in this country which this country needs?

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

Will my right hon. Friend put a time limit on the consideration of the Import Duties Advisory Committee?